The best laid plans…

…can easily be derailed by the arrival of some new treasures. I had previously scheduled all my sewing projects into a nice well-ordered list. But these little beauties are just crying out for some attention and threaten to disrupt ‘the list’. Oh well, never mind. But look at the shiny new things!

Striped seersucker

I went for an innocent browse in The Cloth House in Berwick Street last week and ended up coming home with two metres of this charming striped seersucker. Isn’t it just so Missoni? I love the colours – they’re unusual together and the texture of the fabric is so tactile. I keep stroking and scrunching it. I’m so enamoured with the vintage pattern I used for the Mad Men dress challenge (Simplicity 5961) I’m considering making another version using the seersucker almost straight away. Speaking of the Mad Men dress – here’s a better quality sneaky peek than the one I put up last week. You can tell I’m dying to reveal it can’t you?

Mad Men dress

I also received a couple of delightful vintage patterns in the post last week:

Simplicity 6535

This is such a sweet little A-line dress, especially with view 2’s neckline. I’m thinking of using this wonderful Japanese cotton that was donated to me by a lovely lady named Cassy. Possibly with a cream/ivory contrast neckline.

Japanese cotton

I’ve been searching for a pattern to recreate this blouse. It’s a vintage blouse from either China or Japan and it’s got the most beautiful ruffled neck which is one of my favourite looks.  Sadly the arms are a bit tight and the fabric is becoming a bit bobbly in certain places so it’s time to try and recreate the magic! A good look at the design reveals it’s actually just a simple low collared shirt with ruffles attached.

Vintage blouse

and here’s the pattern to (hopefully) do it:

Vintage Vogue pattern

What about you? Do you find your plans are constantly being reprioritised depending on what pretty new thing has caught your eye?

Random acts of kindness

Happy Valentine’s everyone. Did you all get my card? No? Dammit Royal Mail has gone to the dawgs I tell you…

I’ve been gradually getting back into the swing of things after my trip. I’ve fallen asleep three nights in a row on the sofa though! How come it takes longer to adjust to your old time zone than it does to your holiday one?

Anyhoo, I was finally compos mentis enough to start opening my post yesterday. To my delight, one of the packages was from the wonderful Marie of A Sewing Odyssey; I won her marvellous pattern giveaway just before I jetted off. What a fabulous home-coming present it was too.

Marie's pattern giveaway

Don’t you just love the detail across the yoke on the McCalls? Is that pin tucking? I adore it. And the Vogue dress is so glamorous – these will both be PERFECT for summer. Thank you so much Marie for these and your lovely note!

Also yesterday I received a truly unexpected present – of two rather gorgeous fabrics, from Japan no less! They were donated by a friend who had earmarked them for table linen but had since decided to go down the minimalist all-white route. My luck was in! Two metres or so each of this beautiful cotton. Love the patterns. Cassy, I salute you!

Cassie's fabric donation

Of course I’m tempted to use both of these for the Violet but I must desist from making up this pattern AGAIN for the time being. I’m so, so hideously behind on the Minoru sewalong. I’ve only cut out my fabric so far – how bad is that? By the time I finish this coat we’ll be breaking out the BBQ!

There won’t be much sewing done this weekend either as my lovely sis and niece are popping over from Belfast. We’re going to scare ourselves witless at the Blood and Tears tour of London’s darkest, bloodiest history,  click our heels together at a Wizard of Oz matinee and have a pint of Guinness on the beach at Whitstable. Howzat for a weekend?

Ooh and this was my Valentine’s pressie – we usually don’t do presents but he knew I wanted it – and it’s on vinyl. Hooray! It’s Beth Jeans Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny: Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose. I heartily recommend a listen. I first saw this little lady about four or five years ago in Hoxton, on her own with just a guitar. Now she’s got a full band. She is unbelievably talented and I regularly lurk her, so look out for me at London gigs! Thanks husband xxx

Beth Jeans Houghton